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Sunday, January 10, 2016

48 Life Lessons for My Younger Self

Thank you, Natalie of Happier.com.  Thank you for sharing your newsletter and happy thoughts with all those around you.  Since you are turning 40 "today", I consumed your 40 lessons and thought that I would consider doing the same given that I am turning 48 on Monday, January 11th.  
Natalie's list are lessons of happiness - going back and reading my full list, I guess this is more of a reflection of what I've learned, what has helped keep me happy, and what I wish someone else had told me before I went and did it.  
I have to admit, it's daunting to think that I'm on the tail end of my 40's and will be knocking on the 50 door pretty soon.  But when all is said and done, I am of the opinion that my 40's were my best decade.  Most of what has occurred in my life during this span of my life have been positive, forward thinking, and enjoyable.  Sure, a few bumps along the way, but I have THRIVED in my 40's.  And I WILL keep on thriving!
Happy Birthday to Me - and now for my 48 lessons.  These are not in any particular order - although they should be - but here they are:
1.  "Eat Food.  Not Too Much.  Mostly Plants."  Thank you, Michael Pollan.
2.  A good supervisor is as important as a good doctor, so make sure you understand and communicate with yours.
3.  Weight loss is great, but lifestyle changes will get you further in your quest to be "well".
4.  Appreciate those around you.  Especially those who give you joy.
5.  Feel no guilt in removing toxic people from your life. 
6.  Move Daily.

7.  Feel comfort in creating anchor habits for productivity.
8.  Read.  Alot.
9.  Feel free to engage in frivolous television as stress relief...
10.  ...but don't binge-watch "Breaking Bad" over 6 days or less.  It WILL consume your week in more ways that one.

11.  Spend your money on experiences and memories, not "stuff".
12.  ...because eventually you WILL have to move it.  
13.  Don't confuse Job Title and Salary with Job Satisfaction.
14.  Say "No" often enough that you can say "Yes" to what you really want to do.
15.  Dogs Rule.  And they are not toys.
16.  For that matter, all animals rule.  And they are not "ours".

17.  If you want a tattoo, make sure you really know what you want.  And then be prepared to want more, because they can be really cool.
18.  Going out to eat is awesome - and you should try new cuisines as often as possible.
19.   BUT:  learning to cook is just as special.
20.   AND:  only buy cookbooks that you will truly use.  
21.  Engage in a very special gratitude project every now and then.  I did this for Valentine's Day in 2012, and it was one of the most impactful thing I've ever done.  
21.  Take more time and be intentional about connecting with your family - especially your nieces and nephews.  Don't blame your siblings for the fact you never see each other.
22.  Selling on eBay can be both fun and profitable - just be reasonable.
23.  Be affectionate to your husband and listen to him.
24.  PUT THE GADGETS AWAY IN THE BEDROOM - and by gadgets, I mean cell phones and tablets and laptops.  I know what you were thinking.  

25.  When you become a runner, embrace early the reality that you will never have pretty toes again.  Pedicures will be a waste of money.
26.  ...and also, that you can't be a runner and still be a "lady".  You will need to poop in an orange grove or blow your nose on your tech tee...it is what it is.
27.  Don't borrow money unless you know you can pay it back promptly.  
28.  Don't take payday loans.  Ever.
29.  Allow yourself to be in awe of blue skies and sunsets often.

30.  You are the only one who can facilitate your work/life balance.
31.  Get to know queso.  
32.  It's okay to take Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram off your phone from time to time.
33.  Feel more confident about talking on the phone - because it could wind up being your lifeline to someone you love.
34.  Don't hit "SEND" unless you are prepared to accept the consequences.  You know what I mean.
35.  It's really okay if you never learn to enjoy coffee, because having a Starbucks Gold Card is not the coolest thing you will ever do.
36.  However, you will continue to be amazed at how often you might apply "The Coolest Thing I've Ever Done" to new experiences.  And that's...cool.
37.  Make sure you always have a best friend at work.  

38.  ...and if you struggle with a colleague or peer, take time to remember that this person is probably also going through something difficult, having a tough day, doing the best they can, and/or having hopes and dreams like you. 
39.  Learn about The Miracle Morning early and make it an anchor habit.  
40.  Find comfort, joy, and solace in writing daily.  It doesn't matter how or where or what.  Just do it.
41.  A hug can't fix everything (right, Marc Wellbrock?) - but it can make a lot of things better.  

42.  Celebrate your accomplishments if you do reach all the goals you set for your week/month/year...but don't beat yourself up if you don't.
43.  ...because, Everything Happens for a Reason.
44.  Purge your garage, closet, junk drawer, etc., on a regular basis.  
45.  Do something selfish for yourself every day.
46.  Say "please", "thank you" and when you ask someone how they are doing, make sure you acknowledge their answer.  
47.  Be honest.  Always.
48.  Natalie from happier.com is absolutely correct:  It’s all really about love. Not romantic love, not any specific kind of love, just LOVE. It’s within you. Find it. Nurture it. Share it. Grow it. Swim in it. It’s always the right answer, although sometimes you’ll have a hard time seeing it. Keep looking.

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